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How to Feeding Plants?

How to Feeding Plants?

How to Feeding Plants? To perform properly, plants almost always need additional feeding.  For more details, consult the chart.

Some fertilizers contain a range of nutrients. Others provide a selection of nutrients tailored to specific plants, deficiencies, or growing conditions.

  • Compost Usually formed from a combination of garden and kitchen waste, compost is a good source of nitrogen.
  • Manure This is a good source of nitrogen and trace elements.
  • Mushroom compost Use this 10 improve soil texture. It also contains a range of nutrients.
  • Liquid seaweed extract Apply this to soil, or use it as a foliar feed. It contains nitrogen, potassium, and phosphate.
  • Bone meal This is a good source of phosphate.
  • Fish, blood, and bone meal Use this as a general fertilizer. It contains phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium.
  • Amonium sulfate This contains concentrated nitrogen.
  • Potassium sulfate A good source of potassium, this fertilizer is readily available.
  • Wood ashes These contain a small amount of potassium.

Plants Safety

  • Protecting skin and lungs Always wear gloves when using fertilizer, and do not breathe in vapor or dust. Read the instructions, and use the recommended amount.
  • Storage Store fertilizers in a cool, diy, and preferably dark place. Make sure that all containers arc tightly closed and that they are out of the reach of children and animals.

Using Fertilizers

  • When to use Correct timing of application is essential. Feeding late in the season may promote soft growth, which will be vulnerable to early frost. Late feeding may also cause bud failure on ornamental shrubs such as camellias.
  • Avoiding scorching Keep all fertilizers – except for foliar feeds off leaves, flowers, and stems.
  • Appropriate choice Choose a fertilizer that is formulated for the specific needs of the plants you are feeding, and for the time of year you are planning to apply the fertilizer.
  • Watering in fertilizers Always keep a separate watering can specifically for applying liquid and foliar feeds. Never use this can for watering or for applying chemical pesticides to plants.

Forms of Fertilizer
The type of fertilizer you choose depends on the requirements of your plants and on how often you apply it.

  • Granular fertilizers These usually contain balanced amounts of major nutrients.
  • Slow-release fertilizers Nutrients contained in these are released into soil in response to temperature changes.
  • Liquid and soluble fertilizers These are diluted with water. Most are applied to roots, but some can be applied to the leaves as a foliar feed.
  • Sticks and tablets Push these fertilizers into soil or soil mix after planting has taken place.

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Applying fertilizers

Fertilizers can be applied using one of many different methods, depending largely on the type or formulation of the fertilizer you use. Choose the type best suited to the size of your garden, the results you wish to achieve, and the amount of time you have available.

Diluting Fertilizers

  • Quick absorption Use a liquid fertilizer for quick results. This type is usually applied with a watering can.
  • Large areas If you are fertilizing a large area, use a hose-end applicator that dilutes the fertilizer.
  • Scattering Fertilizer Saving time Scatter fertilizer granules over the entire soil surface to benefit the greatest area of soil and to minimize the risk of overfeeding.
  • Individual feeding Apply fertilizer granules around the bases of individual plants.

Using Fertilizer

  • Watering in Always water fertilizer in thoroughly. Plants can absorb nutrients only if they are dissolved in liquid.
  • Adjusting soil pH; If your soil has a high pH, or if you are growing acid-loving plants, choose a fertilizer formulated especially for this kind of soil or these plants.
  • Applying lime; Do not apply lime at the same time as manure. Lime reacts with the nitrogen in the manure, releasing nitrogen in the form of ammonia. This can cause damage to plants and is a waste of nitrogen.
  • Avoiding scorch; Do not let concentrated fertilizer come into direct contact with leaves, flowers, or young stems, or they may be scorched.
  • Drastic action; Combine a quick-acting foliar feed with a long-lasting general fertilizer applied at the roots for a plant in urgent need of feeding.

Watering fertilizer in; Apply liquid fertilizer directly to roots by getting as close to the base of the plant as possible. Any liquid that is not absorbed by the soil is wasted, or may even feed nearby weeds.

Forking in fertilizer; Take great care not to damage plant roots when forking granules into the soil around the base of a plant. Water the granules in well afterward unless heavy rain is forecast.

Applying Foliar Feed

Spraying leaves Apply foliar feed with a hose-end applicator, or use a fine-rosed watering can. Most of the fertilizer will be absorbed by the leaves; any excess will be absorbed by the plant roots.

Timing Foliar Feeds

  • When to apply Dusk is the best time to apply a foliar feed. Never use a foliar feed in bright sunlight, or leaves and petals may be scorched.
  • Late application Foliar feeds can be used relatively late in the growing season because they will not continue to promote plant growth during the cold winter months.

Phosphorus Fertilizers

  • High flower yield Encourage flowers by applying a high- phosphorus fertilizer – the type used on tomato plants This is most beneficial to bedding plants.

Mixing Fertilizer
Avoiding scorching; When planting, mix the fertilizer with soil or compost before backfilling the hole. This makes the fertilizer available to all parts of the root system, and minimizes the risk of scorching.

Timing the Application of Fertilizers
Fertilize during a period of active plant growth, but not when it could promote new growth too late in the season. The precise timing of applications depends on the type of fertilizer you are using as well as on the individual requirements of the plant.

How to Feeding Plants

Feeding Seedlings
Seedling boost If your seedlings look unhealthy, it is possible that the nutrients in the soil mix have been depleted. Unless you are able to transplant the seedlings immediately, apply a combined foliar and root feed.

Applying fertilizer
Use a small watering can or plant mister to apply a liquid fertilizer to seedlings that are waiting to be pricked out. Make sure that you dilute the fertilizer to half its normal strength.

Feeding a Shrub
Boosting a pruned shrub; Encourage new growth in an extensively pruned shrub by applying a complete fertilizer. Sprinkle the fertilizer around the base of the shrub, and fork it in without damaging the roots.

Feeding Bulbs
Promoting flowering The flowering capacity of bulbs can be improved by applying a foliar feed to the leaves. This especially benefits naturalized bulbs, and bulbs that have been growing in the same place for some time.

Feeding after flowering
Once flowering is over, apply a foliar feed every 10-14 days. Continue doing this until the foliage starts to turn yellow and die back. Do not tie or cut down any leaves for at least six weeks.

Feeding a Lawn

  • Dry weather If your lawn needs feeding during a hot, dry summer, and it is not possible to water in a granular fertilizer, use liquid fertilizer on the lawn instead. Inadequate feeding often encourages disease.
  • Application To feed a lawn, weigh die correct amount of fertilizer, and divide it in half. Apply the first half in one direction, up and down the lawn, apply the second half across, at right angles to this.
  • Yellow grass If the grass begins to turn yellow and is generally lacking in vigor, apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.

Regulating Feedings

  • Dry weather Do not feed plants if they are suffering from lack of water. They will not be able to absorb the fertilizer properly and may be damaged in the process.
  • Overfeeding Late in the season, avoid using more high-nitrogen fertilizer than plants require. This could promote soft growth, which is particularly prone to frost damage.
  • Encouraging flowers To increase the flower yield, apply a dressing of potassium sulfate to a flower bed in autumn and in early spring.
  • Vegetables Leafy plants that are in the ground for a long time, such as cabbage, may need an extra feeding of nitrogen before harvest.
  • Liquid seaweed Feed tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini with liquid seaweed every two weeks during the growing season.

Using Natural Fertilizers
Some gardeners may prefer to use fertilizers of a natural origin; others use only chemical fertilizers. The best results are usually achieved by using a combination of both for different purposes. Whichever type you select, there are plenty of fertilizers from which to choose.

Utilizing Nitrogen
Nourishing the soil; Peas and beans have bacteria in their roots that allow them to convert nitrogen into a usable form. Cut the plants down to ground level after harvesting, and leave the roots to break down and nourish the soil.

Adding Nutrients

  • Peas and beans Always include these and other legumes in a crop rotation. They will help to increase nitrogen levels in the soil – even if their roots are not left in the ground at the end of the season.
  • Compost Start a compost pile immediately if you do not already have one. Compost contains many natural plant nutrients and helps to improve and condition the soil.
  • Wood ashes Collect wood ash from a cold bonfire after burning plant material, and use it as a fertilizer. Wood ashes contain useful nutrients, particularly potassium sulfate.

Green Tip
Using eggshells Add a layer of crushed eggshells to the bottom of a planting hole to provide calcium and to improve drainage. Use for all plants, except those that prefer an acid soil, because eggshells are alkaline.

Making Your Own Fertilizer

Make your own totally organic liquid fertilizer from plants such as stinging nettles (or comfrey). The process is very simple and, provided that you have somewhere to store a quantity of fertilizer, is a cheap and satisfying way of providing your plants with good-quality, effective nutrients.

  1. Collect freshly picked stinging nettles, and press them into a large bowl or bucket. Start with as many nettles as you can, since they decrease in volume once they start to rot clown. Add water, allowing roughly 18 pints 10 liters) of water to about 2 lbs (1 kg) of nettles.
  2. Mix the stinging nettles and water thoroughly, making sure that all the nettles are covered with water. Cover with plastic wrap or a tight-fitting lid. Stir several times with a wooden spoon over a period of several weeks. Always replace the plastic wrap or lid.
  3. In a few weeks, after the mixture has rotted down, strain it into a bucket. Before using the liquid fertilizer, dilute it with water about ten times. The remaining solid matter can be incorporated into a compost pile for future use.
Note: For this article, "hacks to avoid overfeeding house plants, early boost feed for bedding plants, fertilizer for plants" terms have been used in searchs.
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